Martha Wil wrote this expert blog for us to tell you how to set up a new enclosure for your bunny to play and sleep. Martha runs a website dedicated to pet health, fitness and wellbeing – give it a read and check out her links at the bottom of the page!
Guide to Correctly Set Up a Rabbit Enclosure
Like humans, every animal deserves a place to stay and bunnies are not exempted. Bunnies need a comfortable place to carry out their daily activities. They need to have a place to feed well, play and sleep. This is the essence of an enclosure for a bunny.
Finding a suitable enclosure for your bunny might be tasking. There are different choices to make as there are many bunny hutches. The right thing to do is to have a picture of what you want and what your bunny needs.
In this article, you’ll learn about what to consider while choosing an enclosure. You’ll also learn about the required supplies for a hutch. You’ll know the best suitable place for the hutch to be placed. You’ll discover the steps in which a hutch can be set up and how to set up a DIY bunny hutch.
Choice of an Enclosure
Rabbits are social animals therefore they require a lot of space in their hutch. They need space to play and hop around comfortably without an injury. A rabbit’s hutch is expected to be 2-3 times larger than the length and width of the rabbit.
Rabbits are sensitive to spaces and act up when kept in an enclosed place. Therefore you must do the extra work in making sure that the enclosure is spacious enough. This is to enhance the comfort of the bunny.
If you have a large rabbit, you can get an indoor rabbit hutch that is wide enough to accommodate your rabbit and make it comfortable. A large rabbit breed like Flemish Giant Rabbit needs such space as it hops a lot and loves playing around. The space must bring convenience to the bunny.
There are things that will make the bunny comfortable in the hutch and it’s necessary to put them into consideration while setting up a rabbit hutch.
- Bowl for food and water: The bunny will require food and water so it’s advisable to make provision for that in the hutch. You can use a heavy ceramic bowl, this is to avoid a mess as the rabbit might turn the light bowl over.
- Soft flooring: You’ll need to use soft flooring for your bunny’s hutch to prevent the bunny from injury. Depending on what you want, you can use a towel, soft mat, etc. This will also help keep your bunny warm.
- Healthy pellet: Brown pellets are the usual and most recommended rabbit food which is good for her health. While purchasing these pellets, check the ingredients and make sure it’s up to date. Avoid colorful pellets as they are not healthy for your bunny.
- Litter box: Make use of a large cat litter box for your bunny. It should be able to occupy the rabbit and still have enough space left for body movements
- Hay trough and Timothy hay: This is an important part of the bunny’s enclosure as the rabbit needs access to it. It can be placed on the hay or directly in the bunny’s litter box.
- Hiding house: Rabbits are naturally timid and will need a place to hide when she’s afraid. The hiding house serves this purpose as it gives the rabbit her privacy.
- Variety of toys: A bunny needs toys to play with, get as many toys as you can afford. Avoid getting one type of toy repeatedly to prevent boredom.
Best Location for a Bunny’s Enclosure
The best location for a bunny is indoors. An indoor hutch is safe and comfortable with little or no weather threats. It makes the bunny feel secure and it protects the bunny from predators. The temperature of an indoor hutch can be regulated, controlled, and maintained. Extremely hot or cold weather can be controlled through the use of home technologies.
The outdoors hutch comes with a lot of risks and responsibilities. The weather might be harsh and the bunny might be unsafe. To have an outdoor hutch, you must place the enclosure under a shade and provide maximum security. The weather outdoors is unpredictable and might not be suitable for the bunny. It might be too hot or too cold for the bunny’s health.
Steps to Correctly Set Up a Rabbit Enclosure
There are steps to take in order to ensure a good enclosure setup for your bunny. These steps are as follows;
Step 1: Choice of Hutch
The first thing to do is choose a hutch that suits your taste. While selecting an enclosure, there are things you should consider;
- Size: Pick a spacious hutch for your bunny which will make your bunny comfortable and free to move around.
- Multi-level Hutch: It’s advisable to choose a multi-level hutch as it will help your bunny explore more and have many partitions to play and sleep.
- Sturdy Plastic Bottom: Get an enclosure with a solid bottom as the wire bottom cage might cause injury to the rabbit. The plastic bottom is also easy to clean and tidy.
- Large Door Hutch: Choosing a hutch with a large door is the best as it makes it easy for the bunny to go out of the cage without obstruction.
Step 2: Find a Good Position
You need to find a good spot in the house to place the hutch to ensure the rabbit is comfortable. Get a place at the corner of the house as this will be a bit hidden. A bunny is timid and does not like exposure, it will feel safe in the corner of the house. There are other things to consider like;
- Quiet Place: A bunny appreciates quietness and does not like noise as noise scares her. Keep the hutch in a place free from human or electronic noise.
- Playroom: Keep the bunny in a place where she can play freely without getting into trouble.
- Direct Sunlight: A rabbit tends to overheat very quickly so it’s advisable to place them where they can’t have direct sunlight to avoid overheating
Step 3: Floor Covering
You need to set up the floor covers in order to protect the rabbit. You can make use of soft mats or towels in order to make it soft and cozy. You can also make use of pee pads if your bunny is not used to the litter box yet. You can also use a cheap rug carpet for the floor covering.
Step 4: Setting Up The Litter Box
After giving your bunny a perfect floor, the next thing to do is to bring in the supplies or accessories. Setting up the litter box is the first start. Fill in litter on one side of the large litter box and place it in a corner in the hutch. Watch your bunny and take note of the corner that is most convenient for her. Then reposition the litter box to the comfort of your bunny.
Step 5: Supply Hays
Hays are good for the bunny’s health so it shouldn’t lack in the hutch. Place the hays next to the litter box. This is because rabbits are fond of munching hairs while passing out poop. Observe the hays level and replace it when it declines as it shouldn’t lack.
Step 6: Provide Food and Water Bowl
Do not place the food and water bowl close to the litter box to avoid being infected by poop and urine. Keep it at a distance and fill it when due. Replace water bottles with bowls as it makes it easier for the bunny to drink from. Keep an appropriate amount of food.
Step 7: Place a Hiding House
You can place a hiding house at the corner of the enclosure. Use a hiding house that is large enough for the bunny to fit in. The bunny uses the house when she feels scared. She hides in the house to feel secure. You can use cardboard to construct the house.
Step 8: Provide Toys
After setting up everything, you’ll need to place toys in the enclosure. Place a variety of toys for the rabbit to play with. Ensure the toys are safe for rabbits as they might try to chew them.
When you’re done setting up everything, you can let your rabbit in to explore. While setting up a rabbit’s enclosure, be safety conscious and put the comfort of the rabbit into consideration.
Written by Martha Wil
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